The Greens/EFA group will use today's debate in the European Parliament on the EU tax haven blacklist to call for much greater transparency in the blacklisting process.
Following a request from the Greens/EFA group, the European Parliament will today hold a debate on the removal of eight countries from the EU blacklist of tax havens (Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates). The Greens/EFA group has demanded access to documents related to this process.
Greens/EFA tax justice spokesperson Molly Scott Cato comments:
"Taking on tax havens requires a real blacklist, not just a tick box exercise.
"We are sick and tired of hearing European leaders talk tough on tax justice at home only to undermine progress in private meetings in Brussels.
"The blacklist has been flawed since its inception. By refusing to publish information on how the list is compiled and managed, the Council is only inviting accusations of favouritism. The Council must publish the promises it has received from the countries removed from the blacklist so we can see how serious these commitments really are.
"If the Council won't take its role seriously, then MEPs will have to hold them to account. The European Parliament's new committee on tax will be an ideal chance to increase scrutiny of the blacklist process."
Greens/EFA action on the tax haven blacklist
On Tuesday 27 February, the Greens/EFA group submitted an access to documents request to the Council and Commission, asking for documents from the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation related to the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. They must respond within 15 working days. The letter can be viewed here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/5485
On Thursday 18 January, the Greens/EFA group wrote to the Council Presidency and to the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group, criticising the lack of transparency and accountability of the screening process by the Code of Conduct Group and calling on the Council to publish all commitment letters received by the 55 jurisdictions that will be on the "grey" list. The letter also called for a clear timetable of next steps regarding sanctions and revision of commitments to be adopted as soon as possible. The letter can be viewed here: http://extranet.greens-efa-service.eu/public/media/file/1/5446
An analysis by the Tax Justice Network suggests that the several EU member states would be included in the blacklist if EU countries were eligible: http://datafortaxjustice.net/paradiselost/